Enough is enough! (Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary)
More than 30 artists occupied the Ludwig Museum on Thursday, May 9th 2013, to demand complete transparency in the selection process for a new director and the institution’s autonomy from right-wing ruling party Fidesz. The Ludwig’s current director, Barnabás Bencsik, endorsed by the Ludwig Foundation for his outstanding work, is competing against Fidesz-backed Júlia Fabényi for the position. Read more here.
Enough is enough!
Ludwig Museum Budapest, 10 May 2013, 1 pm
From this day on, United for Contemporary Art keeps the building of the Ludwig Museum open 24 hours a day. We are present, and we will work here, hold forums here, and sleep here, until our demands have been granted.
We have come to this decision as the State Secretariat for Culture of the Ministry of Human Resources has ceased to operate as a competent maintainer and resource manager. For months, it has not been capable of appointing a professionally competent and responsible new leadership to the museum. To this day, it has not made available the withheld part of the bursary granted to independent performing art groups in 2012, despite repeated promises.
The examples of the Ludwig and the independents are symptomatic of the system’s malfunctioning. The functioning of Hungarian public administration lacks transparency and, for this reason, does not serve the needs of its citizens.
Enough is enough!
Events leading to today’s press conference:
We awaited Mr Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources, until 11 am on 10 May 2013, to negotiate our professional demands and to call for transparency in cultural decisions. Minister Balog did not attend the forum, nor did he react to our invitation in any way. We consider the practice of cultural decision-makers overriding the professional scene and refusing dialogue to be unacceptable.
United for Contemporary Art continues to await the Minister’s appearance at the Ludwig Museum, and for his worthy reaction to our demands!
What do we demand?
– Transparency in cultural governance!
– Institutional and professional autonomy!
– Cessation of resource withdrawal, compensation for abstract resources, and consideration for public interest and public benefit with respect to the distribution of support!
– Undertaking responsibility, and consideration for professionality in cultural decisions!
– Dialogue between Hungarian culture and the decision-makers of cultural policy!
– The dissolution of concealment with respect to the tender for director of the Ludwig Museum, and a new, transparent tender, facilitating social and professional control, dialogue, and debate!
Whom do we await?
All those, who are unsatisfied with processes that are not transparent on the cultural scene, and who take a stand behind cultural autonomy with their presence, and all those, who, as citizens, are unsatisfied with state autocracy, and demand an open relationship based on dialogue with the current leaders of the state!
Those who have already joined and continue their work here during the coming days:
– This afternoon Humán Platform will hold their current plenary assembly
– Saturday morning, the Association of the Independent Performing Arts (FESZ) will hold its regular general assembly before the Ludwig
– Monday morning: Art and Activism seminar
– Tuesday morning: tranzit. hu working discussion
– Wednesday: Fotokontakt – Photography and Activism workshop
Further programmes are currently under planning stages.
When and where?
At the Ludwig Museum, from today, 24 hours a day, until our demands have been granted.
Let’s be present together!
Enough is enough!
United for Contemporary Art (FB)
On May 22nd, the occupiers at the Museum Ludwig in Budapest, have decided to leave the building.
They proceeded to continue the protest in front of the Ministry of Human Resources. They said that they still consider the Ministry to be acting without consultation with the cultural sector. They have also pointed out that the decision-making processes are still not transparent at all. However, the Ministry is still contradicting this information in the media.
As a reminder, the group’s Facebook page states that this past may 9th they invited the Minister, Zoltán Balog to publicly discuss, amongst other things, said lack of transparency. The minister sent a ‘counter-invite’ to ‘provide information’. This response was deemed unacceptable and in the interest of public / open dialogue, the group started the occupation of the Museum Ludwig, providing 24 hour access to the building.
In the protest in front of the Ministry today, the group has demanded, again, transparency in culture, securing the autonomy of its institutions, a stop to the cuts and compensation to financial support that was already taken away.
Regarding the currently vacant director position of the Museum Ludwig, the Hungarian site artPortal has been informed that representatives of the Ludwig Stiftung and the Minister Zoltan Balog had a meeting. There, Júlia Fabényi’s project proposal was presented. Based on this information, it is likely that the Ministry will soon name Fabényi as Museum Ludwig’s new director.